New FAFSA Application Timeline

What has changed?

If you or your child/grandchild will be attending college in the 2017-2018 school year or subsequent years, then you should be aware of a recent change to the timeline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  FAFSA filing season now opens up three months earlier starting October 1st rather than January 1st.  The first reason why this is important is that some of the aid is dependent upon order of filing and therefore the early FAFSA filer gets the benefits.  The second implication of the change is that applicants will now use the prior-prior year tax return compared to years past when you would try and apply in January, but hadn’t even filed your taxes yet.  This will make the process more efficient for FAFSA applicants and eliminate the need for filing amendments.  See the below chart explaining which tax year to use for each corresponding school year.


More Information

Reminder that both student and parents need to file separate applications for aid.  For more information check out the FAFSA website.

TPC in the News

Andrew Sivertsen, CFP®, CeFT™, a Partner/Sr. Financial Planner in the Quad Cities office of The Planning Center was recently quoted on CNBC on how this will affect the planning process for students/parents.  Read the article on how Early FAFSA start may help parents save on college.

For clients of The Planning Center that want to discuss how this new filing season may affect you or your family, please reach out to your financial planner at The Planning Center.  All other inquiries can be sent to